CVS Tops Expectations In First Quarter

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) has beat expectations for the first quarter of its fiscal year. Profit in the quarter rose to $1.94 billion, or $1.49 a share, compared with a loss of $2.56 billion, or a loss of $2.52 a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were $1.89 a share, higher than the $1.69 a share that analysts predicted.

Revenue increased 35 percent to $63.43 billion from $46.92 billion, beating expectations of $62.63 billion in revenue. The company’s 2018 acquisition of Aetna was the primary driver of the company’s revenue growth. Without the acquisition, CVS Health’s revenue would have increased by less than 5 percent year over year.

Revenue from the pharmacy services segment was $34.8 billion, up 4.2 percent year over year on higher brand drug prices and increased pharmacy claims volume. Front-store sales were also higher than in the same quarter a year ago. The retail and long-term care segment brought in $21.45 billion compared with $20.67 billion a year ago. However, revenue for the company’s healthcare benefits segment decreased from $17.9 billion in the first quarter to $17.4 billion in the second quarter.

CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo said of the results, “We posted strong second-quarter results, with all of our businesses performing at or above expectations. These results demonstrate our ability to execute on our strategic priorities to accelerate enterprise growth as we seek to fundamentally transform the consumer health experience.”

CVS Health also increased its outlook for the rest of the year, raising and narrowing its full-year earnings guidance to between $4.93 and $5.04, up from its previous outlook of $4.90 to $5.05. It also revised its adjusted EPS guidance range for 2019 to between $6.89 and $7.00, up from the earlier range of $6.75 to $6.90. It projects third-quarter EPS from continuing operations will be between $1.16 and $1.20.